I love this time of year. Graduations. End of school year swim parties. It’s also a time to gear up for a summer of youth ministry. When I was on the east coast doing youth ministry I couldn’t understand why the church I worked at took a break for the summer months. When someone told me that most of the “church” families would go to the “Jersey shore” for the summer I could have died.
What I love about doing youth ministry during the summer on the west coast is that it’s when the “real stuff” happens. It’s an opportunity to reestablish relationships with students who were just as busy as the President of the United States and to establish new relationships with a new group of students. The struggle is making sure that the summer months aren’t just one huge “program” and that there are times where meaningful relationships can be built. I remember what a mentor friend once told me, “K.C., you can have all the programs in the world, but if you don’t have people who have time and a heart for kids, your programs mean nothing.”
1 Thessalonians 2:8,9
“So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us. You remember our labor and toil, brothers and sisters; we worked night and day, so that we might not burden any of you while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.” NRSV
The reason I’m in youth ministry is because of those who worked night and day at giving me Jesus when I needed him the most. It’s the reason I now work night and day at helping kids come to know the one who promises rest for the brokenhearted and who gives us a reason to live with confidence that God is at work in our lives and has a plan for our lives.